North Dakota Law

Updates from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

Garry Allan Pearson ’58 (1934-2022)

Garry Allan Pearson, a longtime resident of Grand Forks, ND, passed away peacefully in his home on December 19, 2022.

Born in Minot, North Dakota in 1934, the son of Elmer and Kathleen (Johnson) Pearson, he grew up in Minot as an avid golfer and outdoorsman.  At 16 years of age he won his first North Dakota State Amateur golf tournament and at 17 he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.  Following graduation from Minot High School, Garry attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and Law.  He earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1958. While in Law School Garry married Virginia Kiesau with whom he had four children.

After law school Garry litigated cases throughout the United States as a trial attorney in the Tax Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.  In 1961 he returned to North Dakota to establish his own legal practice, now known as Pearson Christensen, PLLP.  In addition to the practice of law he taught courses at the University of North Dakota College of Business shifting to teaching at the Law School in 1967. A gifted teacher that made difficult concepts simple, he continued teaching courses in tax law at UND until 2016. Throughout his career Garry was active in the North Dakota legal community, including serving as president of both the State Bar Association of North Dakota and the Grand Forks County Bar Association. In 2014 Gar

ry retired from the practice of law to embrace his love of travel, food and family, spending most of his summers at Pike Bay in Cass Lake, MN and his winters at Hilton Head, SC.

“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”  A simple quote from Dr. Seuss, often cited by Garry to his children, was a sentiment that he lived by.  Garry lived life to the fullest.  He had an intrinsic curiosity that drove him to adventure.  He travelled to 78 different countries, to every state and to all Canadian provinces.  An avid golfer who won the North Dakota State Amateur Championship twice (at 16 and 60), he played golf at many of the world’s greatest golf courses and was inducted into the North Dakota Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2008.  If you weren’t careful he might find a way to tell you about his hole-in-one at Augusta National’s #12 yet one more time.

Garry is survived by his wife and companion of 40 years, Rose Kitzan, his four children Scott, Cindy, Wade (wife Dianne), and Chad (wife Mette Flor); and grandchildren Robert, Christina, Christian, Lyola, Karley, Julia and Erik; and great grandchildren Torin and Freyja; and sisters Kae Ellen Pearson, Kathy Kragh (Larry), Shelley Iverson (Darrell) and brother Kim Caley (Jennifer).

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Life:  Will be held in Grand Forks in the spring.
The online memorial registry may be signed at
(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)